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life

Family

Breathing Room

August 2, 2018


Two weeks ago we put the finishing touches on our backyard patio. Our back yard has been, for lack of a better word, a hot hot mess for the last three years. The highlight was last summer when our already gross and muggy backyard got in-ground wasps that prevented us from going outside for a couple weeks. Yes, I said hot mess didn’t I? We dug it all up and put in a huge backyard patio this summer. Now that our girls are getting a bit more independent and our backyard is put back together, this has been the first season we have really been able to enjoy large chunks of time outside the way I’ve always imagined we would when we first purchased our house.

I snapped a picture of myself, sitting on our outdoor couch and READING A BOOK while my girls played in the playhouse because I wanted – no needed – to document that this day had come. I’ve waited 15 months for our girls to be able to truly play together like this and it’s finally happening. Sure, I’m breaking up fights and squabbles and re-distributing toys every five minutes but there are true, uninterrupted pockets of time that the girls are enjoying the benefit of a sibling relationship and I can catch a minute or two for myself in the course of the day.

The last couple months I fee as if we have finally entered into a new, easier, more enjoyable stage with the girls. Prior to that, I felt like we were in a really difficult stage because Collins wasn’t walking well yet, but was into all the things, crawling everywhere, frustrated she couldn’t walk like Ainsley. I felt as if we continued to try doing fun things only to leave the park or the zoo or the outing totally frustrated by the fact that in theory we were supposed to be having fun but I was feeling frustrated more than anything. And, as with every stage with kids, I reminded myself that if you’re feeling stuck in a not particularly fun stage, just hang around long enough and that, too, will change in the blink of an eye.

The last 15 months have been absolutely crazy with two girls, a rapidly growing business, social and personal commitments and more. I’ll be the first to admit that I probably pushed myself too hard this last year. Thinking back to those days with a two-week-old baby in the Rock and Play next to me while I worked in my office? Well, I don’t regret that one bit, but I also look back and can practically remember how TIRED I felt for months on end. About six months into life with two kids we started to find a rhythm that was more enjoyable and manageable than it had been before; we started to see the sun shining a little more with the flexibility and adaptability that a slightly older baby and older toddler provide.

But it wasn’t until a couple weeks ago that I really felt my body take a big sigh of relief, letting go of tension and exhaustion that I didn’t even know I was carrying with me. As I watched my girls play and giggle in that playhouse, as I let the sun shine on my face and relax while they played, I realized how very tiring the first year with two was for me and how much happier I am to be in this stage right now with these two little girls.

Now that Collins is 15 months old I’ve gotten a good handful of questions about whether/if we plan to have more kids. And I always give the same answer: We hope to some day, but for now I’m just enjoying this stage, this phase, where life feels easier, and more manageable and I have a little bit more breathing room to soak up this stage we are in.

Madison

Family, Pregnancy

Sibling Spacing

January 21, 2016

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When Ainsley turned 9-months-old, the questions about baby #2 started to roll in. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but that sounds a little early to start talking about the (hopefully, God willing) next baby, doesn’t it? I mean, I’m still calling myself a “new mom” and still very much feel like a new mom in so many ways, and people are wondering if I’m thinking about round two?

Like most women once they’ve had a baby who starts to grow away from baby and closer to toddler, I get nostalgic for those sweet newborn cuddles, itty bitty clothes and everything that is so very tiny and sweet about a new baby. I see commercials with babies on TV and I oooh and ahhh about newborns because let’s face it, they’re so incredibly cute! (See example, below)

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I joke quite often that I vacillate between wanting to have 10 kids and wanting to only ever have one kid depending on how the day is going. But these very real questions about baby #2 have me thinking about if there really is a good time to start thinking about the next. The answer, I’m sure, is that there is never any perfect timing in life and eventually you just have to do the dang thing, but I’m pretty certain that having one baby has made me even more terrified to have another. Knowledge is power, right?

The truth is this: Our family has now fallen into a pretty good rhythm with Ainsley. She sleeps well, naps (fairly) well, we’re becoming more mobile and enjoying all the things that we couldn’t enjoy with a very little baby. Each and every day she gets more and more fun and my enjoyment for motherhood grows with her.

But when I think about those first few months I get a little sick to my stomach. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, because after two miscarriages I’m so very thankful to have the opportunity to be a mom. However, those early months were so much harder than I could have anticipated, and going back there scares me to death.

Since Ainsley didn’t nurse I was stuck in the most awful cycle of exclusive pumping and multiple midnight feedings. I would feed Ainsley a pre-pumped bottle of milk, then put her back down and pump for the next feeding. It took so much time and energy and drained me emotionally. Next time around if presented with the same situation I think I would give myself permission to throw in the towel right off the bat.

And then there are those awkward first few months that come with the postpartum body. Anyone who has been pregnant knows what I’m talking about, right? Between the night sweats, the ever-changing sizes and the clothes that don’t fit and more, it’s just so very awkward. Now that I’ve finally gotten back into shape even thinking about doing it all over again is giving me pause.

We’ve always said we think we want a little more space between our kids, but I can see the obvious benefits to having your kiddos close together in age as well. And while it’s ultimately going to be a personal decision from family to family, I’m curious to know: How did you decide when the right time was to have another baby? How did you decide on spacing and age gaps? 

Madison

Family, Pregnancy

Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit Giveaway

September 8, 2015

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Hi, friends! I have an exciting giveaway for you all today. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit was one of my must-have baby products for the first handful of months. I wasn’t kidding when I said that it made all the difference in how Ainsley slept. That girl didn’t like having her arms swaddled, and the Baby Merlin was just comforting enough to help her sleep without causing frustration from not being able to move. Well, the Baby Merlin team contacted me and asked if I thought my readers would be interested in a chance to win a Merlin’s Sleep Suit of their very own. Of course I said yes!

Maybe you’re a new mom, a soon-to-be mom, or have a friend who could use this. Enter away below! There are a couple of different ways to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Uncategorized

Mid-Year Reset

August 28, 2015

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In my “When Life Needs White Paint” post, I talked about a mid-year reset to start fresh. Although I’m no longer in school, I love the idea of starting new habits and intentions at the beginning of the school year. There’s something SO much more inspiring about starting new goals and routines in September than in the middle of the winter in January. Anyone with me?

Today we closed on our new house. There is more work to be done than I want to think about in order to make it a home that works for us, but we’re diving in headfirst! Although a lot of our free time will be devoted to home projects, I’m trying to be more intentional about my time by setting a few goals for the fall and beyond. Last week I jotted a few notes down about what I want to do and where I want to devote my time. Most of my list is pretty self-explanatory and straightforward, and now that I look at the list again I think it could be described like this: Live more life! Connect more, spend more time in the moment, experience new things and move my body more frequently.  I want to spend more time in my life if that makes any sense at all.

Now I want to hear from you! What do you hope to do this “school year” and beyond? Goals, hopes, dreams? Maybe we can all do a little mid-year reset together!

Madison